Germany expects that up to 300,000 more migrants from Syria and Iraq will be able to come to the country through family reunification, newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported Sunday.
Germany’s interior ministry announced Friday that 90,389 asylum seekers arrived during the first six months of 2017. The pace is expected to stay the same for the reminder of the year, bringing the total to around 180,000.
The number is far less than the record-breaking 890,000 from 2015, but it doesn’t account for thousands of people who will be eligible to join their family members in Germany. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s office told Welt that between 200,000 and 300,000 people are expected to pursue a life in the country through family reunification rights.
Germany’s major parties have largely ignored immigration in their campaigns ahead of September’s general election. Chancellor Angela Merkel has refused to put a cap on immigration while promising to never allow another migrant crisis.
Alexander Gauland, a senior member of the populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD), recently called it “absolute madness” to allow family reunification for migrants.
“Billions and billions of tax money are being swallowed and the social state is being steered toward breakdown while our eyes are wide open,” Gauland said in April, according to Reuters.
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